Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Special Agent Ariel Rios

United States Department of the Treasury - Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Government

End of Watch Thursday, December 2, 1982

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Special Agent Ariel Rios

It has been 41 yrs since the killing of Officer Rios, I was a 22 yr old medic on the rescue squad that helped Officer D’Atri survive his wounds. Months later he came to our fire station to thank us for helping him that day. It hurt then and still hurts my heart today that we couldn’t help Officer Rios live the long life that he deserved. Such a waste and for what? He is a proud dad looking down from Heaven today, proud of his kids, his family, his legacy. Thank you for your sacrifice my brother.

JL Barreto, Captain (Retired)
Miami Fire Dept

January 30, 2024

I only worked with SA RIOS for a few weeks in NYC . In that short time I found Ariel to be a man of integrity and an investigator of unequaled dedication . It was my honor to follow his lead as he taught me . I will never forget his kind and energetic spirit . Rest in peace Special Agent Ariel Rios .

Rosario D'Allura , Former Coworker

March 9, 2023

I used to try my non-existent Spanish on Ariel when he called in for a tag or other info. He always laughed when I asked if it was “mi diablito” on the phone. I have never forgotten that morning when we learned what had happened, it was shocking and heartbreaking in so many ways. I am so glad Ariel has been remembered like this, it was the right thing to do.

Intelligence Clerk, BATF

February 23, 2022


My friend .. I will never forget that awful day when we were told that you were killed. It seems so unrealistic that you’ve been gone 39 years ago

I took a job down in Miami on that same anti-drug task force.. I wanted to do that in your memory. Be at peace my friend..


December 2, 2021

Rest in peace Special Agent Rios.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

June 20, 2019

Rest in peace Special Agent Rios. Your honesty and integrity will be forever humbly saluted.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

November 29, 2017

On December 2, 2016 there will be a ceremony for you and the dedication of the ATF Headquarters building to you . You did your job well. Miss you so much

Nilda Rapalo

November 15, 2016

Today my brother ,a bill was passed to name the new ATF building in your name. You were a good man. Everyone loved you.
Love you always
Your sister


May 11, 2016

Rest in peace . You have probably meet with Walter .
We still love you. When the phone rings in the middle of the night , I always think is you calling to open the front door. We miss you so much
Love you always
Your sister


February 13, 2016

Ariel, I miss you so much. I know that you have seen my children and Zandra's children. You son has become a wonderful person just like you. My daughter has decided to follow your steps. I know she will be as good as you were.
Your time was up to go with GOD. Even though I know this , I miss you very much. Sad to say Pa has Alzheimer's
and does not remember you. Mom loves you so much. She always says that you are with MAMA Justa. Please rest in peace . We all love you and remember you. Please protect my daughter when she is in Law Enforcement


February 13, 2016

Rest in Peace. Think of you often.


December 2, 2014

Ariel was born in NYC, not Conn. He never worked in D.C. Corrections, only NYC Corrections. He was my brother-in-law and my friend. I miss him.

COL Walter Rivera

February 18, 2014

Sent my "No Parole" letter for your killer this week. May you rest in peace, Special Agent Rios.

Police Explorer

October 16, 2013

I wrote my no parole letter for Agent Rios.
No Officer's murder should ever see the light of day. A life for a life. I have been through what Agent Rios's family has. It changes everyone's life forever. I feel for that family, they have been cheated and will be cheated again if that murderer is set free. The only JUSTICE for the family of Agent Rios making his murderer rot in prison till the day he dies!

Deborah L. Tripp
Ex- Deputy Sheriff, Claiborne Co. TN

October 15, 2013

I mailed my No Parole letter for you today Agent Rios.

"He knew the risk he was taking, yet he did it every day.
Even though my hands are shaking, it's for you today I pray;
That your loved ones find some comfort, knowing you did not
die in vain."

Rest In Peace

Correctional Officer (ret) R. Fleming
California Department of Corrections

October 5, 2013

I am not in law enforcement, just a concerned citizen. Thank you for your service and sacrifice. I will mail my letter today! You have not been forgotten.


October 4, 2013

I was honored to send off my 'No Parole' letter today for you, my brother in blue. Thank you for your sacrifice and may you forever, rest in peace. You are a true AMERICAN HERO !!!

My prayers continue to be with your family, friends and co-workers.


Sgt. Mitch Cheselka (Retired)
Orange County Sheriff, California
Polk County Sheriff, Oregon

October 4, 2013

I'm not a member of Law Enforcement, but I wanted to say how much I personally appreciate the bravery, dedication, and sacrifice of those who are. SA Ariel Rios, you have my humble and utmost respect.

Shirley Kennett

October 3, 2013

Rest in peace brother, we have the watch. I am sending in my "No Parole for Cop Killers' letter today demanding your murderer be kept locked up for every single day of the sentence given. Thank you for your service. God bless the family, friends, and co-workers of Agent Rios during this time of pain all over again. God bless the peacemakers.

Senior Patrolman Donnie Meaders
Wewoka (OK) P.D.

October 3, 2013

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

March 30, 2013

30 years. God bless you.


December 2, 2012

Thinking about you Ariel . . .

Jim Crotty, ATF Special Agent (Ret.)
Former Richmond, VA Police Officer

December 27, 2011

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 29th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, PPD, eow 4/24/05

December 2, 2011

On December 2, 1982, two ATF undercover agents entered the front office of the Hurricane Motel in Little Havana.

One of the Agents was a relatively new guy to ATF and had just received a rift notice(pink slip) advising him that he may not have a job in a couple of months. His name was Ariel Rios and he wanted to prove to ATF that he was a worker and producer and that he needed this job and that ATF needed him. Pink Slip or no pink slip, he started this armed trafficking case and he was going to see it through to the end. ATF hired him to go after the worst of the worst and that’s what he was doing.

The other agent had nothing to prove. His name was Alexander J. D’Atri. He was the Supervisor of the Vice Presidential Task Force assigned to gather up the best of the best ATF Agents and go after the Worst of the Worst bad guys during the “Cocaine Cowboys” days in Miami. He was the kind of Supervisor that wouldn’t ask an Agent to do something that he wouldn’t do himself. So in they went and you all know the rest of the story.

Only Alex made it out alive but just barely. His body was riddled with 5 bullets. Alex died several times on the operating table but pulled through thanks to the trauma doctors at Jackson and Alex’s excellent health.

Ariel’s wound to the head proved fatal and we lost him. That day, ATF lost Ariel Rios, an ATF Warrior, a friend, co-worker. The Rios family lost a husband, a father, a son and the list can go on but you get the picture.

I bring this up for several reasons. That each and every one of us needs to be on top of our game at all times. We need to take care of each other while working the streets. I can’t help but wonder which one of us will be the next Ariel Rios. Look around your squads, look across the table at lunch and think how horrible you would feel if that person was taken from us.

Would you want your friend to be forgotten just because 28 years had passed and all he became was a name on a wall? I don’t think any of us would. It is up to all of us to keep their memory alive whether you knew them or not because there but by the grace of God could go anyone of us.

Oh, By the way… I never had the privilege to meet Ariel Rios, but I got to meet his partner, his co-workers and his family. I consider Ariel a friend and one of my personal Heroes. The Police Memorial will be coming up again in March of 2011. All of the Warriors killed in the line of Duty in Dade County will be honored. Please make it a priority to honor ATF’s Fallen Warriors Ariel Rios and Eddie Benitez along with all the rest of the hero’s that gave all!"

Box wrote this on December 2, 2010
God Bless You Ariel.

A Friend

October 12, 2011

Your life was so short but your contribution was so large. God bless you.

John Pitta RAC

August 20, 2011

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.